Extramural Lab Speaker Program

We have a vibrant program in which colleagues have shared their work with us. Below are some of the people who have given talks in our lab meeting.


Kristen Delevich


Kristen received her B.S. in neuroscience and philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh where she worked in the lab of Dr. Robert Sweet. She received her PhD from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the lab of Dr. Bo Li and performed her postdoctoral work with Dr. Linda Wilbrecht at UC Berkeley. In February 2021, she joined the integrative physiology and neuroscience department at WSU as an assistant professor. Her lab 
aims to identify key cell types and neural circuits that undergo changes in structure and function during adolescence, determine whether these processes differ in males and females, and reveal how changes in neural circuits relate to behaviors that are relevant to core symptoms of psychiatric disease and substance use disorders, and decision-making more broadly.

Erfan Nozari


Erfan Nozari received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering-Control in 2013 from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Cognitive Science in 2019 from University of California San Diego, and was subsequently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Riverside, California Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has been the (co)recipient of the 2019 IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems Outstanding Paper Award, the Best Student Paper Award from the 57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, the Best Student Paper Award from the 2018 American Control Conference, and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Fellowship Award from the University of California San Diego. His research interests include systems and control theory and machine learning and their applications in computational and theoretical neuroscience.



Abed completed his undergraduate studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where he later also completed his PhD degree, in the lab of Prof. YifatPrut in the department of Medical Neurobiology, during which he studied the role of the cerebellar output in controlling hand movements of behaving monkeys. During this time, he received the Jerusalem Brain Center PhD GOLD scholarship, the Nitza Ilan Award for Electrophysiology and published several firstauthor papers. Between December ’19 and March ’20 he accepted a postgraduate position in the Prut lab, as an ELSC postgraduate fellow. During this short period, he completed a paper where he uncovered the contrasting effect of the thalamic input in primary motor and premotor areas of the monkey,which was later published in PNAS. In December ’20, he joined the lab of Dr. Abigail Person, as a postgraduate fellow, in the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, where he is currently studying the cerebellar control of movement through its different output channels (particularly, red nucleus and thalamus) in reaching mice.

Brielle Ferguson

Dr. Brielle Ferguson is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Her research is focused on discovering and better understanding circuits in the brain that support cognition and identifying pathways for intervention in psychiatric diseases and neurological disorders with cognitive impairments. Currently she is studying the mechanisms of attention impairments in a genetic mouse model of absence epilepsy. Outside of lab she is a fierce advocate for better diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. She recently co-founded and serves as program director for Black in Neuro, an organization that strives to build community, provide resources, and increase visibility for Black scholars in neuroscience-related fields. 

Kuangfu Hsiao

Working memory intersects multiple cognitive processes, including attention, prospection, and bridges with long-term memory representations to guide complex behavior. Katie Hsiao’s current research explores the genetic and physiological mechanisms of working memory – how persistent neural activities in “executive” regions in the PFC, hippocampus, and thalamus, orchestrate future goal-directed behavior and allow individuals to act beyond the confines of the here and now. The work has critical implications for understanding everyday cognitive challenges, as well as ADHD, learning disability, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. 

Katie earned her Master of Chemical Engineering degree from Rochester University. She did her Ph.D. in Neuroscience training at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and then joined Rajasethupathy Lab in 2017. Katie is the recipient of the Women & Science Fellowship 2018. In 2019, she received the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund, which supports the translation of her research discoveries into innovations for the clinic that will serve the public good.

Julian Kosciessa

Julian Kosciessa received degrees from Freie Universität Berlin (B.Sc. Psychology, 2014) and Humboldt University of Berlin (M.Sc. Mind & Brain, 2016). Pursuing his interests in computational cognitive neuroscience, he became a IMPRS Comp2Psych (Computational Methods in Psychiatry and Ageing Research) fellow and received his Ph.D. in 2020 from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Lifespan Neural Dynamics Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

He studies how the human brain adapts perception, cognition and action to varying contextual demands. In particular, he focusses on the potential importance of different (thalamo-)cortical dynamics, such as rhythmic synchrony and irregularity, for such flexibility. In his previous research, he extended methods for a time-varying characterization of these dynamic states, and highlighted thalamic relations to cortical state shifts in service of flexible perception under uncertainty. Inspired by systems and cognitive neurosciencehe combines multiple measurement techniques in humans, including computational modeling of behavior, electroencephalography (EEG), structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (s/fMRI) and pupillometry.


Tufts University School of Medicine
Neuroscience Department
136 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111


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Halassa Lab is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.